There’s this idea that we’re all born into a reality that has rules, conventions and expectations that we have to live by.
A world in which we have to walk along a path that governments, corporations and society’s institutions have made for us, and only a fraction of 'extraordinary people' get to live how they really want to.
But the truth is, there’s no such thing as extraordinary people. There are only people who do extraordinary things.
Whatever they want to do, they make it happen. They follow their intuition. They take risks. They have passion. They have patience. They don’t make excuses.
Of course people have different talents, and different levels of them. Not everyone’s going to be a billionaire, a celebrity or an Olympic athlete. But that’s a different category, I'm talking about doing what you want that's within your maximum potential.
I hear so many people wishing they could do perfectly reasonable things, like becoming a travel blogger, starting a food business or applying for an incredible job.
But most people don’t even try to 'follow their dreams' because they think it’s just a cheesy one liner spoken by naive optimists who love spitting out quotes.
It's either that, or they're lazy, scared, unmotivated, undisciplined or some other excuse. Whatever it is, they disguise all of it as being 'realistic'.
Being realistic is the biggest killer of someone's maximum potential.
Not being poor, not being busy, not being dumb, not sexism, not racism, not homophobia. But being realistic.
Apparently, being realistic means not doing something because you can't guarantee you'll get what you want, so you don't even try. Or it means assuming the worst possible outcome and giving up way too early.
Most people reading this are going to grow old with at least one regret of something they wish they had done when they had the shot.
If only they had just pushed themselves a little harder. If only they had realized that their 'reasons' for not doing something were actually bullsh*t excuses. If only they had valued their life enough to make the most of it.
Inaction creates more regret than action ever does.
The problem is that people compare themselves to 'extraordinary people' only after they’ve done something extraordinary.
They forget the days, weeks, months and years during which those 'extraordinary people' were just people.
Before becoming President, Barack Obama was a skinny kid with a funny name (his own words) who occasionally did drugs.
Before writing Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling was unemployed, living on state benefits and had been diagnosed with clinical depression.
Before becoming Iron man and the highest paid actor, Robert Downey Jr. went to both jail and rehab on multiple occasions. He couldn’t even get the insurance needed to appear in films.
Before founding WhatsApp, Brian Acton got rejected for a job by Twitter and Facebook, before selling WhatsApp to Facebook four years later for 19 billion dollars.
Before becoming the Billionaire founder of Spanx, Sarah Blakely sold fax machines door to door.
Before becoming one of the greatest basketball players of all time, Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.
Before becoming one of the most recognized names on television, Oprah Winfrey was fired and told she wasn’t right for television, and also developed an addiction to drugs.
Before starting the Virgin Group, which owns over 400 companies (including one that makes f*cking spaceships), Richard Branson was a working class man with learning difficulties who ran a student newspaper.
These may be the more dramatic examples in history, but the same principle applies to everyone. There’s no such thing as extraordinary people, only people who do extraordinary things.
It’s up to you to define what extraordinary means to you, and to go after it.
You might win, you might lose, it doesn’t matter. Just be absolutely sure that when you look back on your life, you can say that you put everything into getting what you really wanted.